Athenaeum Library Art History Lectures

Art History Lectures

1918: Death in Vienna, City of Dreams

Presented by Victoria Martino


Tuesdays, May 15, 22 & 29 and June 5 & 12, 2018 

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM (except the May 22 lecture, which begins at 6:30 PM due to construction in the area).


If I speak of Vienna it must be in the past tense, as a man speaks of a woman he has loved and who is dead.

                                                                          —Erich von Stroheim


The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library is pleased to announce 1918: DEATH IN VIENNA, CITY OF DREAMS, a new five-part art history lecture series developed by Victoria Martino. In this special lecture series, Victoria will commemorate the centennial death anniversaries of four celebrated Viennese artists who rallied to the Secessionist cause under the motto “To each time its art, and to art its freedom,” heralding the stylistic revolution of the 20th century. She will discuss their lives and works, their influence upon future generations of artists, and their lasting legacy in the development of modernism.  


May 15 » End of an Empire: Waltzing Toward the Abyss

At the close of the 19th century, Vienna was the capital of a vast empire, ruling over more than a dozen nationalities. It boasted a population of over 2 million inhabitants, and was home to more revolutionary artists and intellectuals than any other city in Europe.


May 22 » Otto Wagner (1841–1918): A Facelift for Imperial Vienna

The father of modernist architecture played many roles in his influential career: teacher, writer, architect, urban planner, and environmental designer. He ushered in a new era for his native city almost single-handedly, breaking free from the stranglehold of historicism.


May 29 » Gustav Klimt (1862–1918): Wine, Women, and Song

Eroticism and exoticism went hand in hand in the work of this groundbreaking painter and muralist who became one of the founding members and president of the Vienna Secession, thereby ushering in the stylistic eclecticism of the 20th century.


June 5 » Koloman Moser (1868–1918): When Life Becomes Art

Prominent member of the Vienna Secession and co-founder of the Wiener Werkstätte, an artist collective that prefigured the Bauhaus, this prolific designer made his mark in all media, from books, magazines, posters, and postage stamps, to fashion, stained and blown glass, porcelain, ceramic, tableware, silver, jewelry, and furniture.


June 12 » Egon Schiele (1890–1918): The Body as Theater  

Alternately called a Wunderkind and enfant terrible, this provocative prodigy galvanized Vienna before his 20th birthday, forming a new artists’ group (Neuekunstgruppe), and pushing the boundaries of expression to probe the psyche and the darkest recesses of human sexuality.



Art historian Victoria Martino is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and the University of California. A specialist in German expressionism and early 20th century art, she spent a decade working as a freelance curator and writer at the Albertina Museum in Vienna. During this time, she published over 60 essays on 20th century art in more than six languages, curated several dozen major museum exhibitions, and expanded her expertise on the art and culture of Vienna in the last days of the Habsburg Empire.


Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037



Series tickets: $60 for members / $85 for nonmembers

Individual tickets: $14 for members / $19 for nonmembers




Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.